Filter systems and polarising filters.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by sjl, Oct 12, 2006.

  1. sjl macrumors 6502

    sjl

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #1
    I've come to a conclusion: some of the shooting I'm trying to do at the moment needs a graduated neutral density filter. After a bit of asking around and net searches, I'm thinking that the Cokin system is a good way to go: ability to rotate the line between the two sections, as well as shift it across the lens, is a major plus (compared with a "traditional" filter, where you'd have no choice about where on the lens the line crosses, although you can rotate it.)

    All well and good. It's not all that expensive, either - $AU40 per filter, plus $AU50 for the holder, from my local B&M camera shop (at least for the graduated filters; I haven't priced any others - mainly because I don't yet have the need or money for them).

    This leaves me pondering the question of circular polarisers. I can get a 77mm high-quality (super pro 1, I think from memory) Hoya for $AU175 (plus step-up rings so I can use it on my other lenses, with their 67mm and 52mm filter threads, for around another $AU50 or less). Alternatively, I can get a circular polariser that goes into the Cokin system (price unknown; I don't have the money to buy filters willy nilly, so it'll have to wait a month or two either way).

    Anybody have any thoughts on the pros and cons of the two different approaches for the circular polariser? On the Cokin system in general? Equivalent systems from other manufacturers? I really like the idea of the flexibility that Cokin seems to offer, but more information before making the purchase would be nice.

    Many thanks.
     
  2. beavo451 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    #2
    I have the Cokin system and would recommend you get the polarizer as a screw on filter as opposed to the one that goes with the system. The system is a hassle to use for those times when you just need a polarizer. When you want to use multiple filters or a graduated ND filter, it is very convient.
     
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #3
    The hoya filters are better optical quality. The different is in the optical ant-reflective coating. This matters mostly if you are shooting into the light. You'd get lens flair. But with a radient filter you are most likely using a tripod and can shade the lens with cardboard, a hat or your hand. With a POl. filter you are normally shooting away fro the light. Also as a practical reason the screw-on type is less bulky and may fit under a lens hood. My 67mm pol. filter fits inside the hood on my 19-70 nikor.

    One more thing. Other companies make filters in the right size for thr colin holder. I have some higher quality glass ND gradient filters that fit. The price you quoted seem high even for AUS$
     
  4. sjl thread starter macrumors 6502

    sjl

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #4
    That matches what I was thinking - good to know that my thoughts were on the right path. :D Thanks.

    Australia tends to get jibbed on pretty much anything beyond the bare essentials. We're something of a captive market; distributors tend to take advantage of that. There's a reason why the gray market is so active around here.

    Would you be able to suggest other companies to look into as alternatives within the Cokin mount? Yes, the price may seem excessive, but it's a lot cheaper than the regular screw-in ND gradient filters I can buy (B+W, etc.) - I found one place that wants $AU125 for a B+W ND gradient filter for example (can't remember whether that was a 1, 2, or 3 stop ND ... doesn't really matter, though.)

    I can always buy the holder and one or two ND filters to get me started, I guess, and get something better later on ...

    Many thanks to both of you.
     
  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #5
    I was looking at the Cokin system as well, but actually had a question: Does the physical size of the Cokin system prevent me from using a circular polarizer via Cokin on my 12-24 mm Tokina lens? I mean, surely it'd cause vignetting because entire system is so "thick" (adapter ring + holder) when compared to the 5 mm thicknesses of most filter rings. :confused:

    I just want to see what I need.

    And what's the problem with circ polarizers using the Cokin?
     
  6. VictorM Guest

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Location:
    hogtown
    #6
    Cokin makes a special wide-angle holder that is slimmer and only has one slot, which is supposed to reduce the chance of vignetting. Some recent discussions here:

    http://www.nikonians.org/dcforum/DCForumID8/15420.html

    Alternatively, people have used the regular (thicker) cokin holders and sawed off the extra slots :)
    Other solutions are to go with the larger cokin holder such as the cokin z-pro series so that the filter is way bigger than your lens, but that starts getting expensive.

    Of course it's not just a cokin issue, even with the screw-on filters you will find that they have special slim versions to reduce this problem - for example, I'm using the Nikon Circular Polarizer II (which is a special slimmer version) on a nikkor 12-24 and it does not cause vignetting at all, whereas the regular CP would.

    I know we are talking about vignetting, but you also need to be aware of potential sky-banding issues when using a polarizer and ultra-wides. I run into this occasionally, but it's not necessarily a show-stopper depending on how obvious the effect is, and besides, I also use a polarizer to cut reflection on water/foliage and not just the sky (and it works okay with that).
     
  7. VictorM Guest

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Location:
    hogtown
    #7
    Lee Filters makes a similar system. I don't have any direct experience with it, but it seems highly regarded, and many think it is of higher quality than Cokin (probably more expensive though).
     
  8. VictorM Guest

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Location:
    hogtown
    #8
    Same here. I have some cokin filters, but find myself using it less and less, as it's too bulky for my current style of shooting.

    Nice thing about something like cokin is that once you have the holder you can get other brand filters to work with it (as ChrisA indicated), such as the highly acclaimed ($$$) singh-ray filters.

    One reason I'm preferring the screw-in polarizer is that I can still use my lens-hood with it, whereas with Cokin I cannot. I'm not sure how important this is in practice, but I found it helpul with my 12-24mm.
     

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